September 15, 2013 Subject:
My father is here.
Wesley Ferguson, the actor who plays the union boss is my father-Clifford Wesley Ferguson. My name is Deltra Ferguson, and I am his youngest surviving child. If anyone know more about this film or has a version with sound, I would like to know about it. I believe this was filmed in LA. Dad was born in 1897.
July 21, 2006 Subject:
Which Side Are You On?
This 30s film tells the story of a homeless unemployed worker and his depressing life on the street. Relief is not available to him because heâs a transient, he sees rich people feeding their pets while he goes hungry, and even the mission is closed for the day. Eventually, he responds to a job notice for a factory where the workers are on strike. He tries to cross the picket line, but is knocked down by the angry striking workers. One of the workers understands the guyâs plight and he takes him back to the outdoor kitchen that fixes meals for the striking workers and gives him a good meal. While the homeless guy eats, the sympathetic worker explains why the strike is necessary and why scabbing hurts everybody. His pitch is effective, for the homeless guy decides to join the picket line afterwards. This film is unfortunately missing its soundtrack, but itâs so well made you have no trouble following the story without it. Itâs a good thing it was preserved anyway, because it is a moving film that makes its points well and doesnât overplay its hand. Itâs a rather tall order to convince homeless desperate people not to take jobs in order to avoid âscabbing,â yet I found the film to be pretty convincing anyway. The film is also a great historical document of the labor movement of the 30s.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: N/A. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.
March 5, 2005 Subject:
Once a Bum..
Fairly interesting film, albeit, the soundtrack is missing and it's perfectly obvious that there used to be one as there's places of nothing but dialogue, of why strikes mean so much in our lives. But you wouldn't have guessed it for 3/4 of a movie, because it's nothing but a "bum can't get a break" type of movie. A bum who is down on his luck keeps trying to get ahead, yet having obstacles being put in his way. EG, He tries to go to a church haven, it's closed, tries to get a job, they're not hiring. It's tough! He finally finds a job being a scab an a strike-faced shop. He gets confronted and roghhoused by the strikers, until the (I guess) foreman takes him aside, feeds him and talks to him about why people are on strike. The bum understands, and JOINS THEM ON THE STRIKE LINE!! What happens when the strike is over??
Watching the film though, you can tell WHY Rick has kept this film, as the (I guess) amateur filmmakers seemed to watch Soviet and German Expressionist movies in their spare time. The camera work (Credited to a "Mark") is sometimes spectacular, and the editing and montage sequences are really quite well done.
There's no sound for this one. It looks like it was made in the 1930's and filmed in New York city. It's very low-budget, with the title and credits written on a chalkboard.
It starts out with a young man in tattered clothes sleeping in a doorway. He's having dreams of food. We also see newspaper headlines about soaring unemployment. The man wakes up, and begins what is apparrently his daily routine of wandering the city, trying to find a job or something to eat. There are plenty of shots of his encounters with well-to-do people with plenty to eat who refuse to help.
Eventually he comes to a hiring office with a sign advertising their need to replace striking metalworkers. He tries to cross the picket line only to be stopped by the workers and pushed to the ground. A kindly union organizer intervenes, ushering him to a worker-run soup kitchen. Over his meal, the organizer gives him an inspiring speech about the workers' struggle. After his meal the man approaches the workers who pushed him down and joins the picket line.
I can't tell if this was intended as a silent movie. Given the low budget, and the fact that it's possible to follow the story without the sound I'd guess so. Lots of interesting footage of manhattan alleyways in the '30s.